I haven't been a mall rat since my Jersey girl days, but in Okinawa I found myself going almost daily. Aside from American Eagle, Old Navy and Gap there were few American shops to be found. Instead I was drawn to Japanese brands like Sense of Place, Global Work, SevendaysSunday and Bayflow to name a few. Sense of Place and Global Work can be described as a cross between Zara and H&M with clothing that is street style ready and reasonably priced. Sense of Place, especially, had the most amazing denim blouses. It truly is nice to see a denim top that is not a button-down. It proves that there are places we still have yet to go when it comes to tops made out of denim. I bought two. Bayflow on the other hand is a contemporary apparel and lifestyle store that carries a curated collection of denim products like handbags and floor pillows in addition to the basic jeans, tees and tops.
I was limited in how many photos I could take as the shop owners were beginning to get suspicious. I could have whipped out my business card and got all "I'm Press" on them, but than that would have been work. So instead I took pictures as long as I dared and told myself I'd be making another trip back very soon.
Note: Japanese store links are through Google Translate.
I only intended to try on this denim blouse from Sense of Place, but once I put it on I couldn't leave the store without it. The fit reminded me of a sweater Audrey Hepburn wore in Breakfast at Tiffany's. I have a thing for denim that's not a jean and a denim blouse is so next level.
Another Sense of Place denim blouse. I wasn't as in love with this one as the one above, but I liked the raw edges and modestly cropped length which sat right above my hips. I can be somewhat conservative in my clothing choices and I thought this would add some much needed edge…but not too much. I hadn't intended to buy two denim blouses, but since I couldn't decide which one to get, I just got both.
The same blouse but with the sleeves cuffed. I rolled up the sleeves on a whim and loved it. Especially because it makes the top that much more versatile. But does it make me conservative again? I don't know.
It's funny. This shirt was not my favorite of the two, but I've worn it three times already. I still have yet to wear the other one. The thing is, this one is more casual while the other one makes me look more dressed up. I still like the first one better, but one more wear and this one will become my favorite by default.
I was in Okinawa for close to a month and after awhile I couldn't resist the pull of America. So instead of running to McDonalds, I walked into Old Navy and bought this cute madras-style checked shirt. Yeah, I know. You can't really see the whole shirt, but I felt the need to confess. Anyway, I looked at the tag and it was made in India. #noregrets
Did I mention Gorge? It's another mall store. I was tempted to pick up a long blazer/trench. Denim outerwear was relatively prevalent and it was hard not to want one after seeing them so often on the locals. But alas, I already have a favorite at home from British brand Bethnals LTD which I've lovingly dubbed "The Bill Cunningham" so I put my wallet away.
Denim patchwork clutches on display at Bayflow. It's so great to see denim accessories that aren't cheesy. I love the mixed media patchwork on this one. Particularly the use of 3-Dimensional fabrics like lace and sweater knits. Don't you?
It looks even better as a tote.
Denim floor pillows from Bayflow. I also saw denim slippers and other items, but I had to stop taking pictures. The floor associates were getting suspicious.
The camouflage pattern in these denim joggers is not a print. It's actually woven into the fabric itself. Which would technically make this a jacquard, not denim, but who cares. It's cool.